Pulled Masala Chicken Taco Bowls paired with Katherine's Chardonnay

Pulled Masala Chicken Taco Bowls with Fresh Mango Peach Relish

Pulled Masala Chicken Taco Bowls with Fresh Mango Peach Relish -- tender, juicy Instant Pot shredded chicken thighs simmered with coconut milk, garam masala and curry leaves. Served with Coconut Basmati Rice, an unexpectedly flavorful Fresh Mango Peach Chutney and plenty of taco bowl fixins.

–Emily Stoffel, The Pig & Quill

Pulled Masala Chicken Taco Bowls with Fresh Mango Peach Relish paired with Cambria Katherine's Chardonnay

It probably comes as no surprise that I’m a fan of bowls. On this site, alone, you’ve seen Vegan Polenta Bowls and Banh Mi Salad Bowls. We served these Mango Creamsicle Smoothie Bowls on Mother’s Day Weekend, and these Browned Butter Grits Bowls are a brunch favorite.

Bowls are quite literally the backbone of our weeknight meal plan. A myriad of components, each simple to prepare in its own right, served in a singular vessel where flavors are encouraged to do a messy little mingle. I like it. I may even (à la Jim Carrey) like it a lot.

These bowls are – shocker! – no different in terms of convenience. The Instant Pot shredded chicken thighs (which can also be made in a slow-cooker, by the way) cook, start-to-finish, in 20 mins – just enough time to pop on a pot of Coconut Basmati Rice and macerate fresh mangoes and peaches in a sweet-tart marinade. The resulting Fresh Mango Peach Relish is such a stellar juxtaposition of bright, fresh fruit and warm, gingered spice. The younger, more bohemian cousin of peach chutney, it’ll be the star of tacos, charcuterie plates and, yes, bowls, all summer long.

Pulled Masala Chicken Taco Bowls with Fresh Mango Peach Relish paired with Cambria Katherine's Chardonnay

Pulled Masala Chicken Taco Bowls with Fresh Mango Peach Relish paired with Cambria Katherine's Chardonnay

As for the flavor of those instant pot shredded chicken thighs – it’s spiced but not spicy, creamy from a rich coconut milk broth and subtly aromatic from both the garam masala and the curry leaves. If you haven’t cooked with curry leaves before, they’re distinctly different from curry powder, which is technically a spice blend. Instead, they’re herbacious (think kaffir lime leaves), grassy and quasi-funky in the best way possible. As for their prep: warm them quickly in a little oil to release their (in the best way) flavor, and then add to them anything and everything. They’re clearly the most high-maintenance component of this dish, so if they’re hard to come by or you just don’t want to bother with the extra saucepan, I get it – skip them. But if you’re able to snag some, the extra (literal) minute of your time will be well spent.

And, of course, no bowl posted here should be enjoyed without a glass of Cambria wine. I developed the mild, savory flavors of this recipe specifically to complement Cambria’s Katherine’s Vineyard Chardonnay, which is fruity, floral and super lovely alongside what essentially amounts to a curry-less curry.

Equal parts comforting and fresh, rich and bright. You’ll be downright...yep, I’m gonna do it... bowled over. Enjoy!

 

Pulled Masala Chicken Taco Bowls with Fresh Mango Peach Relish

Pulled Masala Chicken Taco Bowls with Fresh Mango Peach Relish -- tender, juicy Instant Pot shredded chicken thighs simmered with coconut milk, garam masala and curry leaves. Served with Coconut Basmati Rice, an unexpectedly flavorful Fresh Mango Peach Chutney and plenty of taco bowl fixins.

Notes: We serve our bowls with an easy take on coconut rice. When preparing white basmati rice your favorite way (hello, favorite rice cooker!), just replace the equivalent amount of water with light coconut milk, and add a generous pinch of salt.

Regarding the curry leaves: Curry leaves have a slightly nutty, herbacious flavor that is both subtle and distinct, so if you can find them, they’re a fun addition to this aromatic dish. We find these occasionally at our local fancy organic grocery store (you know the type), and they’re almost always available at our local Asian supermarket. If you can’t find them (or don’t feel compelled to hunt them down), I wouldn’t worry about it -- just omit them!

Cook time: 25 mins

Makes: About 4 Servings

For the Chicken:

  • 5-10 curry leaves (less if fresh or more if frozen) -- optional if they’re hard to come by
  • 1 T avocado oil -- also optional; only necessary if using curry leaves
  • 1.5 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 2 T garam masala
  • 1 T onion powder
  • 1.5 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp garlic
  • black pepper, to taste

For the Bowls:

  • Coconut Basmati Rice (see note)
  • Fresh Mango Peach Relish (recipe below)
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 small avocados, sliced
  • 2 oz queso fresco or feta cheese, crumbled
  • fresh cilantro + lime wedges (for serving)
Instructions:
  1. In a small skillet or saucepan, heat avocado oil over medium heat. Add curry leaves and saute 30 secs to 1 min, turning eaves. Remove pan from heat.
  2. Arrange chicken thighs in an even layer in the bottom of a slow cooker or Instant Pot. Add remaining ingredients, including curry leaves and their infused avocado oil. Cook in a slow cooker on high for 4 hours (or low for ~6) or in an Instant Pot for 10 mins + immediate release.
  3. Shred cooked chicken and stir into sauce. Allow mixture to cool slightly; then pile into bowls with coconut basmati rice, fresh mango peach chutney, black beans, sliced avocado, crumbled feta, cilantro and lime wedges. Enjoy!

Fresh Mango Peach Relish

Ingredients:
  • 2 T dark brown sugar
  • 2 T plain (unseasoned) rice vinegar
  • 2 inches fresh ginger, peeled and finely diced
  • 1/4 red onion, peeled and finely diced
  • 2 peaches, diced
  • 1 mango, diced
  • small handful each cilantro and mint
Instructions:
  1. Combine brown sugar, rice vinegar, ginger and red onion in a small saucepan over medium-high and cook until sugar is dissolved and mixture is bubbling, about 2 mins. Remove from heat.
  2. In a small bowl, combine diced mango, peaches, cilantro and mint. Pour over simmered ginger mixture and stir to combine. Serve immediately or store for up to 1 day in the fridge.

Pulled Masala Chicken Taco Bowls with Fresh Mango Peach Relish paired with Cambria Katherine's Chardonnay